As 2022 begins, the pandemic continues to affect society and face-to-face academic exchanges greatly because of new variants of the COVID-19. International exchanges, in particular, have been strongly curtailed in 2021. However, adapting to the “new normal”, for example, taking meetings online, provides an opportunity to consider carefully new approaches to research and education in universities. Our institute will make further efforts to develop sustainably within the new normal and contribute to society by containing COVID-19 through the field of joining and welding.

 In 2022, our institute celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding. Our institute was formally established in 1972 as the Welding Research Institute on the advice of the Science Council of Japan to meet academic and industrial requirements. The purpose of the institute was to perform research in all aspects of welding engineering. The institute was reorganized into the Joining and Welding Research Institute (JWRI) in 1996 to meet the increased demand for “joining” in industry, because of the diversification required by the trend towards globalization in manufacturing, and in response to scientific and technological progress. Furthermore, JWRI was recognized as a Joint Usage/Research Center by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2009. JWRI has energetically promoted both fundamental and applied research from 1972 and has since become the only institute in Japan, and also the world’s leading institute, in the field of welding and joining.

 The JWRI is a small-scale institute. Thus, JWRI has a framework of quick decision-making and can speedily react to and meet current demands. On the other hand, JWRI has left the word “welding” inside its institute name. However, this word had grown old and disappeared from various departments in institutes and industrial companies around the time of the bubble economy from the 1980s to 90s in Japan. It is important to reform the institute in line with the times while still taking advantage of its unique characteristics. The JWRI hopes to continue to take the same attitude into the next 50 years. For the moment, a research center, the “Smart Processing Research Center”, attached to JWRI has been reorganized to become the “Research Center for Additive Joining Application (RAJA)” in April 2022 to meet new demands for “joining” in manufacturing. The RAJA promotes advanced research on linear coating (one-dimensional joining), plane coating (two-dimensional joining) and additive manufacturing (three-dimensional joining), creating a new academic branch in the field of welding and joining.

 In JWRI, three research divisions for fundamental and applied research, namely “Materials Joining Process”, “Materials Joining Mechanism” and “Materials Joining Assessment”, and also a research center, the RAJA for advanced research with a focus on the nanoscale, work closely together and perform world-leading research in the field of welding and joining. Furthermore, JWRI as the Joint Usage/Research Center on Joining & Welding annually accepts “Joint Research Collaborators” amounting to more than 200 professors and researchers, who belong to about 70 other universities and public research institutes in Japan, and has established the “JWRI International Joint Research Collaborator (JIJReC)” program. JWRI is also promoting an inter-university cooperative research project that involves 6 institutes from different universities, supported by MEXT. JWRI, therefore, plays an important role as a world center of excellence in the field of welding and joining.

 One of JWRI’s important features is conducting very active collaborations with industry under the “tradition of practical science” in the Osaka University Charter. JWRI promotes collaborations with private companies and accepts the provision of “Research Alliance Laboratories” and “Joint Research Chairs” funded by private companies. On the other hand, from the viewpoint of education and development of personnel in JWRI, generally 100 graduate students and undergraduates who belong to the Faculty of Engineering, Osaka University study at JWRI every year.

 Our JWRI starts its next 50 years in 2022. JWRI will perform the research relevant to the demands of society in the 21st century and also to the vision of a successful global society in the 22nd century. Our staff will make continuous efforts to achieve the present and future targets. Our JWRI will play an important role in contributing to the sustainable growth of society through technological innovation in welding and joining.


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